PEI

Island politicians forming basic income plan for federal government

Richard Brown is one of four Island politicians forming a guaranteed basic income plan for the federal government, despite Canada's finance minister saying "that particular idea is not part of our approach."

'The overwhelming general consensus was it's time … we should not not be leaving anyone behind'

'The overwhelming general consensus was it’s time ... we should not be leaving anyone behind’ (CBC)

Richard Brown is one of four Island politicians forming a guaranteed basic income plan for the federal government, despite Canada's finance minister saying "that particular idea is not part of our approach."

"I think if we are going to continue to look into this and come up with a a plan for the federal government … they'll take a look at it," Brown told CBC P.E.I.'s Compass.

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, Conservative MLA Sidney MacEwan and NDP Leader Mike Redmond make up the group with Brown. The group hopes to have a pilot project ready for the fall.

'Non-partisan' issue

The group was invited to co-host a series of town hall meetings in communities around the Island by the P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income (WGLI) to gather feedback from Islanders regarding guaranteed basic income.

Because the government motion on guaranteed basic income passed unanimously back in December, Brown said the issue has become non-partisan.

Looking at P.E.I.'s 'most vulnerable'

"What I'm looking at mostly is the most vulnerable people in our society," Brown said.

The public meetings took place in June in the communities of Montague, Morell, Bonshaw and Charlottetown. (Stephanie Kelly/CBC)

Of the four meetings, Brown said he went to three and that Islanders are demanding a guaranteed basic income.

"The overwhelming general consensus was it's time … we should not be leaving anyone behind," Brown said of the public meetings.

"If you're on hard times, if you're disabled and can't work, society is behind you," he added.

With files from CBC News: Compass